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July 28, 2010

Voids, Quantums, and eating dirt

The most important thing to know about Kheldians is that there is a custom enemy type the devs added to the game just for them. The three major varieties are Quantums, Voids, and crystals.

They are pretty much guaranteed to be in any mission that has a kheldian in the party and are also found randomly dispersed throughout most zones.

If you've ever teamed with a Kheldian, you have seen them call out "Void" or "Quantum" (or V & Q for short) every time there's one of these types of enemies in a group. This is because in most cases, a kheldian can only take about two hits from one of these before dying so they want the team to know to focus on that one first. Killing them before they kill you is a challenge and something that you become very good at very fast… or else.

Quantums

A Quantum Council member
A Quantum Council member

This can be any enemy type and look normal until you get close. Then they pull out that massive glowing gun that will make you scream like Michael Jackson and head for the hills (or hospital). They are challenging in that they look like any other enemy and you'll only know they're there by checking groups before striking or by attacking and watching them pull out the gun-of-kheldian-doom.

A neat trick for dealing with Quantums to close to melee range quickly. They'll often punch you instead which doesn't hurt any more than any other enemy of that type.

Voids

A Void. Shield off then on
A Void. Shield off then on

Typically these guys are black all over with a red face mask. They're very easy to spot because they look nothing like the group of enemies they're with. They also occasionally make a "whoooozaa" kind of noise making it pretty clear they're nearby even if you don't see them.

Note that the "whoooozaa" noise I'm referring to is an anit-kheldian shield that makes it much harder to kill them. If you're soloing or fighting a high level void, wait until the glowing aura around them subsides to start your attack.

These guys are far more dangerous because their punches are as powerful as the ranged attack and you won't last long if you have their attention. The only thing to do with Voids is to avoid them (no pun intended), let other's draw their aggro, or hit them with everything you've got so fast that they can't retaliate.

The all-out attack method can work well, but at the lower levels when you don't have a lot of attacks, this will get you killed more often than not. Let's just say that it's nice that the devs added debt protection below level 10 and you have that nice travel power to get back to the mission that you were killed in over and over.

Shadow Cyst Crystals

I count 17 behemoths so far from this CoT portal
I count 17 behemoths so far from this CoT portal

Out of the three, this is by far the most dangerous. There are certain missions in the game that have "portals" that continuously spawn enemies until you destroy the portal. This is normally not a problem because they can usually be avoided (which keeps them from activating), spawn a small number of enemies at a time, spawn only lower difficulty enemies, or spawn only minions (ex: ritki portals and cot portals assuming you're not on a giant team).

Here's where the crystal becomes a problem:

  • They spawn nictus which are basically the same as a Dark Nova. They fly and use long range powerful dark energy attacks and slow your recharge rate.
  • Many of the spawns are lieutenants or bosses.
  • A crystal with a BUNCH of nictus
    A crystal with a BUNCH of nictus
  • They spawn like voids and quantums do; in the middle of a group of regular enemies and usually in a critical group like the one where the boss is or one that's protecting a hostage you have to rescue. Therefore, avoiding them is almost always impossible.
  • There appears to be no limit (or there's a really high limit) to the number of nictus they spawn. In one tf after 6 team wipes, there were about 30 nictus hovering around looking dangerous. Did I mention we failed that tf?
  • They explode with massive damage when you kill them.

Oh, and one more thing, you don't get any experience from the nictus it spawns, just the crystal. Peachy, huh?

So unlike the classic anti-kheldian stuff, crystals can quickly become a problem for the whole team. Fortunately, they're a lot more rare, but unfortunately, you never know where or when they'll pop up and, when they do, it's almost always by a critical group of enemies you have to take out (so avoiding them just won't happen).

I've found that crystals only pop out on teams of 7 or more. Keep that in mind when forming TFs and such when a Kheldian is on the team.

One crystal can ruin an entire TF

Like most portals (only more so), the best way to deal with them is to have everyone in the group hit the crystal at the same time and beat on it until it's gone. All this while getting pummeled both by the group that the crystal was in and the nictuses it spawned. Chances are that some or all of you will die, but if you don't get rid of the crystal immediately, you have no chance of finishing the mission.

A gift for you 😀 – Void bind

Lighting up the bad guys with the bind
Lighting up the bad guys with the bind

Here's a bind that can save you a lot of grief. It will target anything with the words "Quantum", "Void" or "Crystal" in the name. When you push it, it will immediately target this type of enemy even if you can't see them very well due to caves, poor lighting, or tightly packed enemies.

/bind v "target_name quantum$$target_name void $$target_name crystal "

Use this every time you line up for an attack and you'll very rarely be caught unprepared (the most common reason kheldians die).

Use this one to alert your team once you have the offender targeted (explained in more detail in the macro section):

/bind f8 "local Ick! It's a $target"

June 12, 2010

Willpower / Stone Melee Tank Guide by Saist

Filed under: Guides,Stone Melee,Tanks,Willpower — Jeremy

The following guide was written by Saist a.k.a. The Very Grumpy Bunny. It has been posted here with permission, but the original can be found here.

Jordan Yen, of Jordan's Town, has been bugging me to join in his ongoing contest with new player guide(s). So, here's a another, not so new character build, and to date, probably one of the cheapest ones to actually make. It's a Willpower / Stone Melee tank, made largely because I saw somebody with a WP/Stone tank a MoSTF.

The Major Issues

Saying that Willpower has issues is a bit misleading. The set is honestly one of the better balanced sets for survivability. There's really no "what the blazes were you thinking" power or "that's an auto-skip power" to be had in the set. Willpower is a good solid set for those who have never played C.o.H. before, and an excellent choice for veterans as well.

That being said, there are some things that Willpower players probably should know.

  • Willpower is pretty much about the regeneration rate, so anything that boosts regeneration and the HP cap is a good thing.
  • There's no native resistance to slows. Which means that every single enemy critter with a slow attack is going to slow down a WP with no problem.
  • The native taunt aura is weak. All other Tank Taunt aura's taunt for 400%, Willpower's aura only taunts for 300%.
  • The native taunt also can't build against Gauntlet as it has no damage component.

Stone Melee is also a good set, providing players know what they are getting.

  • Like Energy Melee, Stone Melee is weak on the AOE damage.
  • Stone Melee is also an incredible endurance hog.

Because of these factors, Willpower / Stone both works well together, and doesn't work well together. The lack of a strong AOE component, or a taunt that builds against Gauntlet means that Aggro Tanks will have to work really hard to hold aggro on AOE heavy teams.

However, Willpower's high recovery potential means it can support sustained use of Stone Melee's hardest hitting powers.

Overall Power Selection and Design

The Willpower set itself is an Asynchronous Mixed Resist / Defense / Regeneration set. What this means is that the set has native resists, native defenses, and native regenerations, but the resists and the defenses generally don't stack for the same damage type. This gives Willpower a wider range of power types compared to other tank sets, and is one of the reasons. Technically, each power type is weaker when directly compared to another power sets power with the same effect. In the case of Willpower though, it's the entire package that makes the set, not a single solitary power.

I approached the Willpower slot design with 3 primary goals in mind:

  • Boost HP Cap
  • Boost Regeneration
  • Boost Recharge Rate

As can be seen, my love of frankenslotting continues. Now I feel sure that somebody is going to come along and say that I missed an opportunity to make this build .001% better by switching out some of the crafted level 50 IO's for an IO set.

I don't particullary care, and I'll explain why at the end of the post.

Now, the most expensive part of this build is the procs. Again, I knew on paper going into this build that there was no protection against slows. The proc's really are not required to make a Willpower Build shine. Now, procs can make a good willpower set great, but if you just want something to cut your teeth on, this build is a bit overkill.

The Build: Primary Powers

Now into the powers and the slots.

Mind over Body: Mind over Body is the primary resistance for Smashing, Lethal, and Psionic Damage.

Compared to the Dark Armor set that I just looked at, the outright resist values are indeed lower. As we'll so though shortly, this isn't really an apples to apples comparison.

For the slotting, I went mostly with a 3 slot Titanium Coating for the health boost, and an Aegis Resist / Endurance IO to lesson endurance usage and increase resists.

Fast Healing: The primary native regeneration power.

The power is slammed far into ED with 3 level 50 crafted Heal IO's.

The proc in use is the Regenerative Tissue: Regeneration proc.

Indomitable Will: The primary anti-mez power for Willpower, IW also offers a Psionic Defense Bonus.

Leveraging this Defense Status are both a LoTG 7.5 recharge proc

And a GoTA: Run proc.

Rise to the Challenge: The Willpower's taunt aura.

Rise to the Challenge also increases the player's regeneration rate while fighting mobs, while decreasing a mob's to-hit rating. The To-Hit debuff combo's well with Defense sets, as a lower to-hit is the equivelent of a higher defense rating.

Here though, for Willpower, I focused more on the healing aspect, maximixing the healing aspect while in a mob situation, and edging off the endurance usage.

A Doctored Wounds End / Heal provides the extra heals and endurance reduction ontop of the 3 slotted Numina's Convelesence.

Quick Recovery: Willpower offers a native recovery bonus.

Here a level 50 crafted IO backs up a double slot Performance Shifter with chance for endurance.

Heightened Senses: The primary defensive power of the Willpower set.

While Mind over Body provides a strong resistance to Smashing, Lethal, and Psionic damage, Heightened Senses only provides for minor Smashing and Lethal damage defense with no protection against Psionic Damage.

Rather, Heightened Senses provides a strong defense against the other damage types, Cold, Fire, Energy, Negative Energy.

Heightened Senses, as a defense power, shares the same IO's as Indomitable Will.

High Pain Tolerance: This power simply offers resistance to all damage types, and raises the players maximum HP. No fancy IO sets here, just straight level 50 crafted IO's to maximize the dual nature of this power.

Strength of Will: The tier 9, I'm in trouble power for the Willpower set.

Like High Pain Tolerance, it's IO potential is limited, since the only enhancements it can accept are Resist Damage and Reduce Endurance Consumption. However, since it's Endurance usage is only 2.60 End, this really isn't a barrier to usage.

Still, it was a good place to slot a Steadfast Protection: resist / defense proc.

The Secondary Powers

With the primary powers done, now onto the attacks:

Stone Fist: Reasonable Damage, Reasonable endurance usage.

Stone Mallet: Another melee attack, same slotting with Crushing Impact.

Heavy Mallet: Another Melee attack, and more Crushing Impact.

Taunt: I know I keep saying this over and over. Tanks need taunt.

Perfect Zinger is leveraged for it's 5% recharge boost, incidentally capping the 5% recharge buffs.

Fault: Originally I was not going to take this power, and for the longest time ran without it.

However, one of my friends also has a Willpower / Stone tank, and his internet service died one night while he was prime-tanking an ITF. He called me to login in and finish the TF out. I found, strangely, that fault helped shore up the poor aggro control.

I also figured out that I hated the power because every tank whose taken this before probably slotted it for knockback instead of stun.

Tremor: The only PBAOE power Stone Melee gets.

Scirocco's Dervish is pretty much the only good PBAOE damage set for a power that's used on a repetitive basis.

Seismic Smash: Also known as kiss your endurance good bye.

Even with a near 70% decrease in endurnace consumption from Crushing Impact, this attack still wipes out 1/10 of an average endurance bar

Hurl: Stone Melee is one of the few tank attacks with a ranged component.

Devestation: useful for the damage and max HP bonus.

Pool Powers

Combat Jumping: I knew early on that I wanted another base for Luck of the Gambler proc, and since only the jump and fly sets offer this slotting, I went with Combat Jumping.

As mentioned, Combat jumping is just a proc mule.

Super Jump: not much to type here really.

Winter's Gift was chosen as it's unique proc helps shore up Willpower's lack of any native resistance to slows.

Health: Proc Mule.

Hosting Numina's unique, and a 3 slot on the numina set for the HP boost.

Stamina: same slotting as Quick Recovery

Boxing. As normal, a single stun.

Tough: not much to write here. Same slotting as Mind over Body.

Weave: Same slotting as the other defensive powers.

Power Performance

Okay, here we go with the analysis of what this slotting does.

44

Now, on these initial numbers, you might notice that they aren't actually that far off of the numbers from the heavily IO'd Dark Tank I just showed. Both have near 70% resistance to Smashing / Lethal damage. The Dark tank as better esoteric resists, the Willpower tank has better esoteric defenses.

There are differences though.

The Dark tank has a maximum HP of 2550, and that's after the inclusion of all of the available Accolades to boost Hit points.

The Willpower tank has a current maximum HP of 2816 and is missing two HP boosting accolades. Those accolades will give 93.70 hp and 187.41 hp respectively, bringing the Willpower's tank maximum health up to around 3097.

The Dark Tank has a regeneration rate of 23.92 HP per second.

The Willpower Tank has an out of combat regeneration rate of 53.36… and in combat sustained regeneration of… 134 hp/sec.

Then there's the small matter of Strength of Will. Activate it…

In Strength of Will, smashing / lethal resistance is hard-capped, resistances to everything else increase, and endurance recovery goes up. Even on SO's, Strength of Will will be touching hard-cap smash / lethal numbers.

There's also the matter of Defense Debuff Resistance, something I found difficult to take pictures of. Basically put, when something attacks a Willpower tank with a power that removes Defense, not as much defense is removed in each attack.

The Dark armor set gets no such benefit, so any attack that takes aware defense… takes away the maximum amount of defense.

Now, as I said earlier, I know this build is not as tightly optimized as the Dark Tank / Energy Melee build. It doesn't need to be. This tank is Master of capable and has prime-tanked all of the Master of capable task forces.

Now, once I get the last couple of HP buff accolades, I'll be within a hundred points or so of the HP cap.

When writing this guide (and why it's going up now and I'm still finishing it out), is I've been playing around with a build that works on increasing the HP cap by sacrificing some of the end-recovery capability.

I figure my HP cap bonus's as follows:

1.5% : 1, 2
1.88%: 1, 2, 3
1.13%: 1, 2, 3, 4
2.25%: 1

Swapping out the level 50 crafted Endurance IO's for a performance shifter endurance / something would put me at the 1.88% cap, and in theory, a Miracle proc placed on Fast Healing would make up the endurance usage.

I'm not entirely sure that's the best way to go though, and I'm not likely to change it for now.

Dark Armor / Energy Melee Tank Guide by Saist

Filed under: Guides,Tanks,Uncategorized — Jeremy

The following guide was written by Saist a.k.a. The Very Grumpy Bunny. It has been posted here with permission, but the original can be found here.

Jordan Yen, of Jordan's Town, has been bugging me to join in his ongoing contest with a new player guide. So, here's a new character build, and to date, the most expensive one I've made. It's a Dark Armor / Energy Melee tank, made largely to explore the on-paper issues with both sets.

The Major Issues

I've written about Dark Armor before and what I see as the problems with the set. On the surface the set has low resists and aura's that prevent effective tanking. As I played the set, I found there was another issues, endurance consumption. To put this in perspective, an Ice Armor Tank and a Stone Armor tank can stack the following powers:

  • .26 e/s :: Frozen Armor
  • .26 e/s :: Chilling Embrace
  • .26 e/s :: Wet Ice
  • .52 e/s :: Icicles
  • .26 e/s :: Glacial Armor
  • 1.56 end / sec :: Total
  • .26 e/s :: Rock Armor
  • .78 e/s :: Mud Pots
  • .21 e/s :: Rooted
  • .26 e/s :: Brimstone Armor
  • .26 e/s :: Crystal Armor
  • .26 e/s :: Minerals
  • 2.03 end / sec :: Total

Now, Ice gets two Endurance Recovery powers, Energy Absorbtion and Hibernate. Stone Armor gets granite, which produces the following base stackables at high levels.

  • .26 e/s :: Granite
  • .78 e/s :: Mud Pots
  • .21 e/s :: Rooted
  • 1.25 end / sec :: Total

Dark by comparison, with all stackable armors

  • .52 e/s :: Death Shroud
  • .21 e/s :: Dark Embrace
  • .21 e/s :: Murky Cloud
  • .21 e/s :: Obsidian Shield
  • .26 e/s :: Cloak of Darkness
  • .08 e/s :: Oppressive Gloom
  • 1.49 end / sec :: Total
  • 52 e/s :: Cloak of Fear
  • 2.01 end / sec :: Total

Without Cloak of Fear, Dark Armor is nipping right on the heels of Ice's endurance consumption. With Cloak of Fear on, Dark Armor nips right at Stone Armor's heels. This is a set that can't hard-cap resistances, can't soft-cap defenses, has no native endurance recovery, and no native regeneration boosts. Now, Energy Melee is something I haven't addressed before, mostly because I don't really see a problem with the set. One of the factors of CoH development is that all power-set balances are based off of Single Origin enhancements, and on SO's, Energy Melee is one of the best single target damage producers in the game. Still, the CoH forums are filled with players with battle axes to grind on the subject of changes to the Energy Melee set. Terms like nerfed, useless, and pointless, are often used by multiple players. As a tanking set, I'm not really going to argue with some points. Energy Melee's lack of AOE punch simply means tanks need to work their taunt to hold aggro in mob combat.

Overall Power Selection and Design

So, now for the powers I wound up taking. As a note, this character is still incomplete, it's only level 48. However, I already have the enhancements for the final power, so I can tell you what's going to happen with the build.

As I said, this is my most expensive character build to date. Early on my design goal had been to maximise the recharge and make Conserve Power permanent. However, when I actually checked the numbers on Conserve Power, at the recharge cap of 500%, there would still be a down time of 30 seconds between the power's recharges… and as I found out on my Controller Builds, increasing the recharge rate without equally increasing the endurance recovery rate was not a good thing for a sustained combat build. Thus, approaching the practical recharge rate cap was actually going to make endurance consumption problems worse, rather than better.

There was also the additional problem that I needed to spend slots on knockback procs as the Dark Armor lacks any native knockback protection. I also knew from experience that I'd need the Numina and Miracle procs to help offset the load from the Tough and Weave pool powers. With the recharge rate strategy out of the question, and with Physical Perfection looking like a requirement, I went back to the drawing board to rework power choices. I started focusing on sets that offered Endurance Capacity boosts, as boosting the total endurance would also boost endurance recovery. Eventually as I figured that my average Melee attack slot budget was going to be about 4 slots, rather than the 5 slots I had allocated for the Crushing Impact set. So, late in the life of the build, I started looking through power-sets and slots coming up with a new design goal. Of the Melee Damage IO slots, only 3 had buffs I'd actually be interested in for my tank in the pump 4 slot; Crushing Impact with it's accuracy boost; Mako's Bite with it's damage boost, and Kinetic Combat with it's defense boost. The sheer costs of using Kinetic Combat were an instant turn off:

  • The set doesn't drop above level 35, so it was rare and hard to come across.
  • The drop level also meant that the effective power range meant lower damage, higher endurance consumption, higher recharge times, and lower accuracy.
  • The set costs a ton of influence on the market, with recipies commanding 80,000,000+ inf price-points. I'd need 20 IO's, with 4 recipes per melee power, which means that buy them on the market, I'd be looking at over 1,600,000,000 in influence… presuming I was able to win those builds.

As I rose in level though, the problems with Dark Armor became… insurmountable. As a tank set, the usual strategies and franken slotting weren't working. On SO's and affordable IO sets, Dark Armor sucks. Plain and simple. Now, I'll go into some changes that I think need to be made to Dark Armor to bring it up to par with Fire Armor towards the end of this guide.

Yes. I just said what you think I said. For tanks, Dark Armor is worse than Fire Aura.

Anyways, once I had resigned myself to needing Kinetic Combat to just survive, I started setting aside merits for the recipies and worked out the slots to try and push a softcap to smashing / lethal defense. The following build is the result.

The Build: Primary Powers

Death Shroud: Death Shroud is the primary taunt aura, and a huge end drain.

The slotting choice paired a 4 set Eradication for it's maximum endurance boost and maximum health boost with a Scirocco Dervish:Damage / Endurance to try and help take the edge off the end drain and boost damage up.

Dark Embrace: Dark Embrace is the primary smashing / lethal resist power for Dark Armor.

I went with the 3 slot Impervium Armor for it's recovery boost and not the 4 boost for increased endurance as….

I needed the fourth slot for the Steadfast resist / def boost, which helped put the build into softcap.

Dark Regeneration: The Dark Armor's party peice. Just two enemies can completely refill a Dark Tank's HP, at a 1000 plus Hit Point heal on a non-ED pressing 92% boost.

The bad news is the endurance consumption. The Accurate Heal sets are low on endurnace IO's, and Dark Regeneration requires a too-hit check. Ergo, the power chomps out nearly 25 endurnace, just about a forth of a players average endurance.

I went with Touch of the Nictus over Theft of Esscence mostly for the higher Maximum Endurance buff.

Obsidian Shield: One of the reasons why you would want a Dark Armor. Obsidian shield offers extremely high resistance to Psionic Damage.

I went with a 4 set of Impervium Armor here for a couple of reasons. First, to get the Psionic Resistance far into ED. Second, for themaxium endurance boost. This meant having to go without another knockback IO, so there are some critters that can knock this particular tank around.

Murky Cloud: The Anti-Mez. Slotted like Dark Embrace…

Only with a Knockback proc.

Cloak of Darkness: One of the powers that wasn't really thought out that well for tanks. Without an additional stealth, such as an IO or Super Speed, Cloak of Darkness's hide bonus isn't enough to not be seen by enemies. As will be shown with the next power, while it's not enough to prevent aggro, it is enough to interefere with aggro.

It is useful as a platform for Luck of the Gambler, and it's defense footing became important later on.

Oppressive Gloom: Another power that just was not thought through went brought to tanks. Okay, I'll get the obvious issue out of the way. The trade-off of health for stunis not an issue. That isn't the problem.

Lets go ahead and get the slotting out of the way. I did go with a 5 slot Razzle Dazzle for the Defense boost.

Here's the problem: The Status Aura's Prevent Tanks from Holding Aggro. Here's my tank fighting a mob of carnies. Note how the carnies are bunched around the tank in a close group. Every one of them is in melee range and the team can utilize their AOE powers to maximum effect.

Stun OFF
Stun OFF
Stun ON
Stun ON

Here we can see that the carnies are stunned. They start trying to GET AWAY FROM THE TANK.

This is why Oppressive Gloomand Cloak of Fear, which I did not take for this build, ARE ABSOLUTELY HORRIBLE FOR TANKS.

Yes, with either power personal survivability increases. An enemy that is not attacking is as good as an enemy that isn't there. However, this now means that with the survivability factor turned up, my tank now has to CHASE DOWN runners. If my tank is keeping a troublesome Archvillain, Ebby, Monster, or other critter in place, a stunned or feared enemy critter will simply leave the area. Once out of melee range, what happens when the critter recovers? They do a perception check. If your tank is running Cloak of Darkness, it's entirely probable that a stunned enemy that wandered off will promptly start firing on your teammates. Then there's the additional problem that both of the status auras are All-Or-Nothing powers. Either the enemy is mezzed, or they aren't. So while I can knock even-con Carnies out of the running pretty easily, Nemesis, Rikti, Devouring Earth, Cimerorans, Malta, and higher con-enemies… not so much. Thing is, these powers are Great on Scrappers. A scrapper doesn't care if an enemy critter wanders the other way, or if a wandered off critter recovers and chooses to pick on the squishy defender, blaster, or controller. I'm not even sure the status aura's are such a bad idea on Brutes. On a tank, it's just bad.

The Build: Secondary Powers

Okay, to rehash from before, Energy Melee is heavy on the single target damage. For Purposes of leveling guide, there's also a pool power in here.

Barrage: the basic 1-2 punch of the EM set.

Kinetic Combat. To reiterate, getting these sets took several months of work. However, no other damage set offers the defense or max health bonus's.

Bone Smasher: Not much to write about. Another melee attack with Kinetic Combat. Did I mention the ludicrous amount of effort that went into getting these sets?

Boxing: As mentioned in the design section, I went through several different possible builds trying to fit in the powers I needed to handle the sheer endurance drain of the Dark Armor set. In most builds I simply toss a stun boost on Boxing and leave it alone. For this build, after looking at the numbers, I decided the best power to drop was Energy Punch.

While Energy Punch's DPA @ 50 was better than Boxing; 53.60dpa vs. 31.60dpa, the Damage Per Cast Cycle was in Boxing's Favor; 9.47dpcc versus 9.21dpcc. This freed up a power letting me take Physical Perfection later on, and Boxing was taken early in the respec chain.

Whirling Hands: The only PbAOE the EM set gets.

As with Death Shroud, a Scirocco Dervish damage-endurance IO takes the ting off the low levels of the Eradication Set.

Taunt: Every tank needs this. Period. If you ever run into a tank that says they can tank without taunt, laugh. Loudly.

Perfect Zinger was chosen for the defense buffs. It's +psidamage proc is fun to use as well.

Stun: One of the reasons EM combines well with dark is that the stuns can stack.

As with Oppressive Gloom, theRazzle Dazzle set is leveraged for it's defensive Boost.

Energy Transfer: The party peice of the EM set. Energy transferoffers an extremly high damage count for a bit of health. Worth it.

Total Focus: the tier 9 attack power. Massive damage.

The Energy Melee Power Controversy

To be fair, I do need to address thatthere is a bit of controversy over the last two powers; Energy Transfer and Total Focus. The animation on Energy Transfer used to be much shorter, and requests to un-nerf the power are frequent on the City of Heroes forums, as a thread from this month indicates. Total Focus also animates like a PbAOE attack. Many players feel that the damage output does not match the animation times, and to be fair, there is a fair bit of point on this matter. In the case of Total Focus, it's a tier 9 Single Target attack. Here's how it's Damage per Activation / Damage per Cast Cycle stacks up against the other Tier 9 single target attacks @ level on tanks:

  • Greater Fire Sword: 56.86 / 9.24
  • Seismic Smash: 105.59 / 7.37
  • Total Focus: 47.99 / 6.80

So, compared to it's revivals, it actually is weaker. The same cannot be said for Energy Transfer:

  • Incinerate: 66.60 / 9.53
  • Greater Ice Sword: 37.42 / 7.07
  • Energy Transfer: 138.46 / 16.31

Which, brings me to something a lot of players don't understand. Sets are balanced against what the entire set does, not what other sets do. In some aspects Energy Melee is weaker than other melee sets with weaker average attacks, and a lack of an AOE punch. As an entire set on Tanks, I'm not entirely convinced that Energy Melee is out of line for what it is described to do.

The Pool Powers

Now we get to the edging powers, and for this build, also known as proc city.

Combat Jumping: I took combat jumping to help stack up the defense. It's a minor amount, but every bit helps this build. I also used it as a proc point.

Knockback IO: Another 4 points of Knockback protection

Luck of the Gambler 7.5: I didn't entirely give up on increasing the recharge rate.

Kismet Accuracy: This power should actually be named Kismet: To Hit buff. One of the issues with this particular build is that there's a lack of decent accuracy boosts, and against con-higher enemies, missing with attacks gets to be a bit of a pain. As dark doesn't have a passive defense power, I wound up putting the buff on Combat Jumping and when I need to renew it, just swap back and forth between CJ and Super Jump.

Super Jump: if this was an SO build, this would be the path taken to get acrobatics. Since I wanted a anther Def buff slot to host a LoTG 7.5, it was either jump or fly… and fly's a little slow for a tank.

Blessing of the Zephyr: taken mostly for the extra knockback protection.

Swift: how do you make swift sound interesting?

Health: More expensive procs.

Miracle set: I wound up 3 slotting with the Miracle set for the health boost and IO recovery boost.

Numina Proc: Strange that this and the LoTG 7.5's are not the most expensive IO's in the build…

Stamina: I ran out of slots, or this would have 3 crafted level 50 IO's.

Conserve Power: Takes forever to come back, but if I have to lay on the self-heal power, it's still very much needed.

Physical Perfection: A newer pool power, this boosts Regeneration and Recovery at half the rate of health and stamina. Slotted for Endurance Recovery.

Tough: given the sheer end-drain this build pulls down, Tough and Weave would be the final powers taken after Physical Perfection.

4 slotted with Impervium Armorto push resists into ED and gain another max endurance boost.

Weave: not pictured.

Weave is the reason there arefour more LoTG IO's sitting at the bottom of the enhancement screen. So, yes, this build will get another 7.85% defense, 7.5% recharge,1.13% hp cap boost, 10% regeneration boost, and an accuracy boost.

Power Performance

So, there's the slotting, now here's how it looks with Accolades. Due to a bug in the power source display*, I turned them off to just show the base stats.

And now, for the payoff:

With 38.05% defense to Smashing / Lethal, the additional 7.85% from Weave will place total Smash / Lethal defense at around 45.9%… over softcap. Melee defense will approach 37%. In practice, as is, the existing defense tends to hold up well enough in average combat.*For those interested in knowing what that bug is, the power sources flicker on and off, shifting the list up and down, making it difficult to read.

Fixing the Dark Armor Set

As indicated at the start of the build guide, I do have some furtherrefinements to the idea to fix the Dark Armor power set against SO's.When I originally advocated changes I looked mostly at changing or removing the status effects that didn't fit with the tanking objectives, and increasing effective defense. I expressed somereservations about the suggested changes as they might not fit within the cottage rules, and thus not be considered. To reiterate the issues,as I have played them:

  • Extreme Endurance cost does not match defensive performance ofthe set
  • Native Mez Powers interfere with ability to hold aggro
  • Resists are low
  • No way to maintain moderate levels of defense

Extreme Endurance Usage and Low Resists

Dark Regeneration Modification:Energy Absorbtion / Heat Loss / Eclipse hybrid

Lets deal with the endurance question first. One of the other Extreme Endurance Sets is Ice, which getsEnergy Absorbtion. Each affected enemy returns 15 endurance points base, and when capped into ED, an Ice tank recover around 30 endurance per enemy. Energy Absorbtion also boosts Defense. A fully saturated unslotted EA swipe will give around 5%~8% defense. The conceptual idea then is this:

Implement EA as a Dark Miasma Resist

Part of the work has already been done. The WarShade Epic Hero Archtype gets a power called Eclipse which already does a stacking Resist bonus based on enemies. For the Dark tank, scale that back to something like 1.2% resistance non-buffable for 10 targets max. the Result is that in Mob Combat Dark Tanks will be able to press 80% resistance to smashing / lethal and be within slotting distance of hard-cap Psionic resistance. Now, since we don't want a straight rip off of EA, convert the straight endurance recovery into an average 2.5% per target, max 10 target, recovery rate bonus. The conceptual idea is this:

Activating Dark Regeneration gives the player 50% of base Secondary Speed Boost recovery, or 25% recovery rate

If the player chooses to slot recovery IO's over health IO's, they'll be able to produce a recovery effect equivelent to getting hit by an unslotted speed boost. Now, while i would prefer that the actual heal component on Dark Regeneration be unchanged since this is supposed to be about bringing Dark Armor into parity with the realistic play performance of other tanking power sets, adding in a resistance bonus and a recovery bonus might neccessitate dropping the total heal component.

Anti Status Effect

Counter the counter-intuitive Mez Effect Powers: Combine Mud Pots and Death Shroud.

A potential solution to the enemies that wander off when stunned or feared could be found in the Stone Armor set. The power Mud Pots contains a 2 magnitude immobilize component. Implement this Immobilize component into Death Shroud on the Dark Armor set. Poof, stunned or feared enemies have a lower chance of walking around and getting lost from the aggro. Considering that just about every other dark set in the game has an immobilize of some sort, the idea certainly fits.

Defense Debuff Resistance

Add a Defense Debuff Resistance Component: Empower Cloak of Darkness

As the Dark armor set is primarily a Resistance based power set, it doesn't get any sort of Defense Debuff Resistance even though it contains a native Defense Power. Adding in a minor Defense Debuff Resistance Component to Cloak of Darkness would help Dark Tanks retain what defense they could naturally obtain.

Dark Armor / Energy Melee Tank Guide by Saist

Filed under: Dark Armor,Electric Melee,Guides,Tanks — Jeremy

The following guide was written by Saist a.k.a. The Very Grumpy Bunny. It has been posted here with permission, but the original can be found here.

Jordan Yen, of Jordan's Town, has been bugging me to join in his ongoing contest with a new player guide. So, here's a new character build, and to date, the most expensive one I've made. It's a Dark Armor / Energy Melee tank, made largely to explore the on-paper issues with both sets.

The Major Issues

I've written about Dark Armor before and what I see as the problems with the set. On the surface the set has low resists and aura's that prevent effective tanking. As I played the set, I found there was another issues, endurance consumption. To put this in perspective, an Ice Armor Tank and a Stone Armor tank can stack the following powers:

  • .26 e/s :: Frozen Armor
  • .26 e/s :: Chilling Embrace
  • .26 e/s :: Wet Ice
  • .52 e/s :: Icicles
  • .26 e/s :: Glacial Armor
  • 1.56 end / sec :: Total
  • .26 e/s :: Rock Armor
  • .78 e/s :: Mud Pots
  • .21 e/s :: Rooted
  • .26 e/s :: Brimstone Armor
  • .26 e/s :: Crystal Armor
  • .26 e/s :: Minerals
  • 2.03 end / sec :: Total

Now, Ice gets two Endurance Recovery powers, Energy Absorbtion and Hibernate. Stone Armor gets granite, which produces the following base stackables at high levels.

  • .26 e/s :: Granite
  • .78 e/s :: Mud Pots
  • .21 e/s :: Rooted
  • 1.25 end / sec :: Total

Dark by comparison, with all stackable armors

  • .52 e/s :: Death Shroud
  • .21 e/s :: Dark Embrace
  • .21 e/s :: Murky Cloud
  • .21 e/s :: Obsidian Shield
  • .26 e/s :: Cloak of Darkness
  • .08 e/s :: Oppressive Gloom
  • 1.49 end / sec :: Total
  • 52 e/s :: Cloak of Fear
  • 2.01 end / sec :: Total

Without Cloak of Fear, Dark Armor is nipping right on the heels of Ice's endurance consumption. With Cloak of Fear on, Dark Armor nips right at Stone Armor's heels. This is a set that can't hard-cap resistances, can't soft-cap defenses, has no native endurance recovery, and no native regeneration boosts. Now, Energy Melee is something I haven't addressed before, mostly because I don't really see a problem with the set. One of the factors of CoH development is that all power-set balances are based off of Single Origin enhancements, and on SO's, Energy Melee is one of the best single target damage producers in the game. Still, the CoH forums are filled with players with battle axes to grind on the subject of changes to the Energy Melee set. Terms like nerfed, useless, and pointless, are often used by multiple players. As a tanking set, I'm not really going to argue with some points. Energy Melee's lack of AOE punch simply means tanks need to work their taunt to hold aggro in mob combat.

Overall Power Selection and Design

So, now for the powers I wound up taking. As a note, this character is still incomplete, it's only level 48. However, I already have the enhancements for the final power, so I can tell you what's going to happen with the build.

As I said, this is my most expensive character build to date. Early on my design goal had been to maximise the recharge and make Conserve Power permanent. However, when I actually checked the numbers on Conserve Power, at the recharge cap of 500%, there would still be a down time of 30 seconds between the power's recharges… and as I found out on my Controller Builds, increasing the recharge rate without equally increasing the endurance recovery rate was not a good thing for a sustained combat build. Thus, approaching the practical recharge rate cap was actually going to make endurance consumption problems worse, rather than better.

There was also the additional problem that I needed to spend slots on knockback procs as the Dark Armor lacks any native knockback protection. I also knew from experience that I'd need the Numina and Miracle procs to help offset the load from the Tough and Weave pool powers. With the recharge rate strategy out of the question, and with Physical Perfection looking like a requirement, I went back to the drawing board to rework power choices. I started focusing on sets that offered Endurance Capacity boosts, as boosting the total endurance would also boost endurance recovery. Eventually as I figured that my average Melee attack slot budget was going to be about 4 slots, rather than the 5 slots I had allocated for the Crushing Impact set. So, late in the life of the build, I started looking through power-sets and slots coming up with a new design goal. Of the Melee Damage IO slots, only 3 had buffs I'd actually be interested in for my tank in the pump 4 slot; Crushing Impact with it's accuracy boost; Mako's Bite with it's damage boost, and Kinetic Combat with it's defense boost. The sheer costs of using Kinetic Combat were an instant turn off:

  • The set doesn't drop above level 35, so it was rare and hard to come across.
  • The drop level also meant that the effective power range meant lower damage, higher endurance consumption, higher recharge times, and lower accuracy.
  • The set costs a ton of influence on the market, with recipies commanding 80,000,000+ inf price-points. I'd need 20 IO's, with 4 recipes per melee power, which means that buy them on the market, I'd be looking at over 1,600,000,000 in influence… presuming I was able to win those builds.

As I rose in level though, the problems with Dark Armor became… insurmountable. As a tank set, the usual strategies and franken slotting weren't working. On SO's and affordable IO sets, Dark Armor sucks. Plain and simple. Now, I'll go into some changes that I think need to be made to Dark Armor to bring it up to par with Fire Armor towards the end of this guide.

Yes. I just said what you think I said. For tanks, Dark Armor is worse than Fire Aura.

Anyways, once I had resigned myself to needing Kinetic Combat to just survive, I started setting aside merits for the recipies and worked out the slots to try and push a softcap to smashing / lethal defense. The following build is the result.

The Build: Primary Powers

Death Shroud: Death Shroud is the primary taunt aura, and a huge end drain.

The slotting choice paired a 4 set Eradication for it's maximum endurance boost and maximum health boost with a Scirocco Dervish:Damage / Endurance to try and help take the edge off the end drain and boost damage up.

Dark Embrace: Dark Embrace is the primary smashing / lethal resist power for Dark Armor.

I went with the 3 slot Impervium Armor for it's recovery boost and not the 4 boost for increased endurance as….

I needed the fourth slot for the Steadfast resist / def boost, which helped put the build into softcap.

Dark Regeneration: The Dark Armor's party peice. Just two enemies can completely refill a Dark Tank's HP, at a 1000 plus Hit Point heal on a non-ED pressing 92% boost.

The bad news is the endurance consumption. The Accurate Heal sets are low on endurnace IO's, and Dark Regeneration requires a too-hit check. Ergo, the power chomps out nearly 25 endurnace, just about a forth of a players average endurance.

I went with Touch of the Nictus over Theft of Esscence mostly for the higher Maximum Endurance buff.

Obsidian Shield: One of the reasons why you would want a Dark Armor. Obsidian shield offers extremely high resistance to Psionic Damage.

I went with a 4 set of Impervium Armor here for a couple of reasons. First, to get the Psionic Resistance far into ED. Second, for themaxium endurance boost. This meant having to go without another knockback IO, so there are some critters that can knock this particular tank around.

Murky Cloud: The Anti-Mez. Slotted like Dark Embrace…

Only with a Knockback proc.

Cloak of Darkness: One of the powers that wasn't really thought out that well for tanks. Without an additional stealth, such as an IO or Super Speed, Cloak of Darkness's hide bonus isn't enough to not be seen by enemies. As will be shown with the next power, while it's not enough to prevent aggro, it is enough to interefere with aggro.

It is useful as a platform for Luck of the Gambler, and it's defense footing became important later on.

Oppressive Gloom: Another power that just was not thought through went brought to tanks. Okay, I'll get the obvious issue out of the way. The trade-off of health for stunis not an issue. That isn't the problem.

Lets go ahead and get the slotting out of the way. I did go with a 5 slot Razzle Dazzle for the Defense boost.

Here's the problem: The Status Aura's Prevent Tanks from Holding Aggro. Here's my tank fighting a mob of carnies. Note how the carnies are bunched around the tank in a close group. Every one of them is in melee range and the team can utilize their AOE powers to maximum effect.

Stun OFF
Stun OFF
Stun ON
Stun ON

Here we can see that the carnies are stunned. They start trying to GET AWAY FROM THE TANK.

This is why Oppressive Gloomand Cloak of Fear, which I did not take for this build, ARE ABSOLUTELY HORRIBLE FOR TANKS.

Yes, with either power personal survivability increases. An enemy that is not attacking is as good as an enemy that isn't there. However, this now means that with the survivability factor turned up, my tank now has to CHASE DOWN runners. If my tank is keeping a troublesome Archvillain, Ebby, Monster, or other critter in place, a stunned or feared enemy critter will simply leave the area. Once out of melee range, what happens when the critter recovers? They do a perception check. If your tank is running Cloak of Darkness, it's entirely probable that a stunned enemy that wandered off will promptly start firing on your teammates. Then there's the additional problem that both of the status auras are All-Or-Nothing powers. Either the enemy is mezzed, or they aren't. So while I can knock even-con Carnies out of the running pretty easily, Nemesis, Rikti, Devouring Earth, Cimerorans, Malta, and higher con-enemies… not so much. Thing is, these powers are Great on Scrappers. A scrapper doesn't care if an enemy critter wanders the other way, or if a wandered off critter recovers and chooses to pick on the squishy defender, blaster, or controller. I'm not even sure the status aura's are such a bad idea on Brutes. On a tank, it's just bad.

The Build: Secondary Powers

Okay, to rehash from before, Energy Melee is heavy on the single target damage. For Purposes of leveling guide, there's also a pool power in here.

Barrage: the basic 1-2 punch of the EM set.

Kinetic Combat. To reiterate, getting these sets took several months of work. However, no other damage set offers the defense or max health bonus's.

Bone Smasher: Not much to write about. Another melee attack with Kinetic Combat. Did I mention the ludicrous amount of effort that went into getting these sets?

Boxing: As mentioned in the design section, I went through several different possible builds trying to fit in the powers I needed to handle the sheer endurance drain of the Dark Armor set. In most builds I simply toss a stun boost on Boxing and leave it alone. For this build, after looking at the numbers, I decided the best power to drop was Energy Punch.

While Energy Punch's DPA @ 50 was better than Boxing; 53.60dpa vs. 31.60dpa, the Damage Per Cast Cycle was in Boxing's Favor; 9.47dpcc versus 9.21dpcc. This freed up a power letting me take Physical Perfection later on, and Boxing was taken early in the respec chain.

Whirling Hands: The only PbAOE the EM set gets.

As with Death Shroud, a Scirocco Dervish damage-endurance IO takes the ting off the low levels of the Eradication Set.

Taunt: Every tank needs this. Period. If you ever run into a tank that says they can tank without taunt, laugh. Loudly.

Perfect Zinger was chosen for the defense buffs. It's +psidamage proc is fun to use as well.

Stun: One of the reasons EM combines well with dark is that the stuns can stack.

As with Oppressive Gloom, theRazzle Dazzle set is leveraged for it's defensive Boost.

Energy Transfer: The party peice of the EM set. Energy transferoffers an extremly high damage count for a bit of health. Worth it.

Total Focus: the tier 9 attack power. Massive damage.

The Energy Melee Power Controversy

To be fair, I do need to address thatthere is a bit of controversy over the last two powers; Energy Transfer and Total Focus. The animation on Energy Transfer used to be much shorter, and requests to un-nerf the power are frequent on the City of Heroes forums, as a thread from this month indicates. Total Focus also animates like a PbAOE attack. Many players feel that the damage output does not match the animation times, and to be fair, there is a fair bit of point on this matter. In the case of Total Focus, it's a tier 9 Single Target attack. Here's how it's Damage per Activation / Damage per Cast Cycle stacks up against the other Tier 9 single target attacks @ level on tanks:

  • Greater Fire Sword: 56.86 / 9.24
  • Seismic Smash: 105.59 / 7.37
  • Total Focus: 47.99 / 6.80

So, compared to it's revivals, it actually is weaker. The same cannot be said for Energy Transfer:

  • Incinerate: 66.60 / 9.53
  • Greater Ice Sword: 37.42 / 7.07
  • Energy Transfer: 138.46 / 16.31

Which, brings me to something a lot of players don't understand. Sets are balanced against what the entire set does, not what other sets do. In some aspects Energy Melee is weaker than other melee sets with weaker average attacks, and a lack of an AOE punch. As an entire set on Tanks, I'm not entirely convinced that Energy Melee is out of line for what it is described to do.

The Pool Powers

Now we get to the edging powers, and for this build, also known as proc city.

Combat Jumping: I took combat jumping to help stack up the defense. It's a minor amount, but every bit helps this build. I also used it as a proc point.

Knockback IO: Another 4 points of Knockback protection

Luck of the Gambler 7.5: I didn't entirely give up on increasing the recharge rate.

Kismet Accuracy: This power should actually be named Kismet: To Hit buff. One of the issues with this particular build is that there's a lack of decent accuracy boosts, and against con-higher enemies, missing with attacks gets to be a bit of a pain. As dark doesn't have a passive defense power, I wound up putting the buff on Combat Jumping and when I need to renew it, just swap back and forth between CJ and Super Jump.

Super Jump: if this was an SO build, this would be the path taken to get acrobatics. Since I wanted a anther Def buff slot to host a LoTG 7.5, it was either jump or fly… and fly's a little slow for a tank.

Blessing of the Zephyr: taken mostly for the extra knockback protection.

Swift: how do you make swift sound interesting?

Health: More expensive procs.

Miracle set: I wound up 3 slotting with the Miracle set for the health boost and IO recovery boost.

Numina Proc: Strange that this and the LoTG 7.5's are not the most expensive IO's in the build…

Stamina: I ran out of slots, or this would have 3 crafted level 50 IO's.

Conserve Power: Takes forever to come back, but if I have to lay on the self-heal power, it's still very much needed.

Physical Perfection: A newer pool power, this boosts Regeneration and Recovery at half the rate of health and stamina. Slotted for Endurance Recovery.

Tough: given the sheer end-drain this build pulls down, Tough and Weave would be the final powers taken after Physical Perfection.

4 slotted with Impervium Armorto push resists into ED and gain another max endurance boost.

Weave: not pictured.

Weave is the reason there arefour more LoTG IO's sitting at the bottom of the enhancement screen. So, yes, this build will get another 7.85% defense, 7.5% recharge,1.13% hp cap boost, 10% regeneration boost, and an accuracy boost.

Power Performance

So, there's the slotting, now here's how it looks with Accolades. Due to a bug in the power source display*, I turned them off to just show the base stats.

And now, for the payoff:

With 38.05% defense to Smashing / Lethal, the additional 7.85% from Weave will place total Smash / Lethal defense at around 45.9%… over softcap. Melee defense will approach 37%. In practice, as is, the existing defense tends to hold up well enough in average combat.*For those interested in knowing what that bug is, the power sources flicker on and off, shifting the list up and down, making it difficult to read.

Fixing the Dark Armor Set

As indicated at the start of the build guide, I do have some furtherrefinements to the idea to fix the Dark Armor power set against SO's.When I originally advocated changes I looked mostly at changing or removing the status effects that didn't fit with the tanking objectives, and increasing effective defense. I expressed somereservations about the suggested changes as they might not fit within the cottage rules, and thus not be considered. To reiterate the issues,as I have played them:

  • Extreme Endurance cost does not match defensive performance ofthe set
  • Native Mez Powers interfere with ability to hold aggro
  • Resists are low
  • No way to maintain moderate levels of defense

Extreme Endurance Usage and Low Resists

Dark Regeneration Modification:Energy Absorbtion / Heat Loss / Eclipse hybrid

Lets deal with the endurance question first. One of the other Extreme Endurance Sets is Ice, which getsEnergy Absorbtion. Each affected enemy returns 15 endurance points base, and when capped into ED, an Ice tank recover around 30 endurance per enemy. Energy Absorbtion also boosts Defense. A fully saturated unslotted EA swipe will give around 5%~8% defense. The conceptual idea then is this:

Implement EA as a Dark Miasma Resist

Part of the work has already been done. The WarShade Epic Hero Archtype gets a power called Eclipse which already does a stacking Resist bonus based on enemies. For the Dark tank, scale that back to something like 1.2% resistance non-buffable for 10 targets max. the Result is that in Mob Combat Dark Tanks will be able to press 80% resistance to smashing / lethal and be within slotting distance of hard-cap Psionic resistance. Now, since we don't want a straight rip off of EA, convert the straight endurance recovery into an average 2.5% per target, max 10 target, recovery rate bonus. The conceptual idea is this:

Activating Dark Regeneration gives the player 50% of base Secondary Speed Boost recovery, or 25% recovery rate

If the player chooses to slot recovery IO's over health IO's, they'll be able to produce a recovery effect equivelent to getting hit by an unslotted speed boost. Now, while i would prefer that the actual heal component on Dark Regeneration be unchanged since this is supposed to be about bringing Dark Armor into parity with the realistic play performance of other tanking power sets, adding in a resistance bonus and a recovery bonus might neccessitate dropping the total heal component.

Anti Status Effect

Counter the counter-intuitive Mez Effect Powers: Combine Mud Pots and Death Shroud.

A potential solution to the enemies that wander off when stunned or feared could be found in the Stone Armor set. The power Mud Pots contains a 2 magnitude immobilize component. Implement this Immobilize component into Death Shroud on the Dark Armor set. Poof, stunned or feared enemies have a lower chance of walking around and getting lost from the aggro. Considering that just about every other dark set in the game has an immobilize of some sort, the idea certainly fits.

Defense Debuff Resistance

Add a Defense Debuff Resistance Component: Empower Cloak of Darkness

As the Dark armor set is primarily a Resistance based power set, it doesn't get any sort of Defense Debuff Resistance even though it contains a native Defense Power. Adding in a minor Defense Debuff Resistance Component to Cloak of Darkness would help Dark Tanks retain what defense they could naturally obtain.

April 11, 2010

Final Thoughts on the Fire/Fire/Fire Blaster

Filed under: Archetypes,Blasters,Guides,Shazel — Jeremy
Woo! 50!
Woo! 50!

Shazel was something else for me. She was the first blaster I was able to play and enjoy. Besides graphically looking awesome (everything's on fire), your power is unmatched by pretty much anything in the game.

You'll need to learn to use your powers wisely so that you can dish it without dying, but even if you do die, you can come right back (Rise of the Phoenix) and keep on going! If you prefer to avoid debt, get used to popping purple inspirations before most battles to deflect some of the damage or stay on teams. Just be sure to let someone else fully grab the aggro before firing.

If asked whether I recommend this type of character to anyone else, I definitely do. While I like the complexity and utility of Defenders and Controllers (and even some Blaster builds), this is one of the most straightforward, and therefore easiest, characters you can play.

Probably the biggest challenge with a F3 Blaster is learning to control your aggro. There aren't many tanks that can keep the enemy's attention once you start firing!

Also this: Shazel's multi-billion influence build

April 10, 2010

Shazel’s Flame Mastery Guide

Flame Mastery was an easy pick as my goal with Shazel was to make her as firey as possible. Fortunately, the powers are a perfect fit for her concept.

Bonfire

An area control effect.
An area control effect.
Score2 of 5
Unslotted Strength5.3 x Brawl

Summary

Click it an target an area on the ground. That spot grows a large area of fire that will knock back any enemy that comes close and burn them as they approach.

How to Use

I finally realized that it has more uses than I thought. Generally, it is recommended for protecting doorways, corners, or anything else where you want to keep someone away.

Where it really comes in useful is for keeping people out of melee range. If you launch the power and then stand in the middle, enemies that try to get close will get thrown back leaving you free to continue blasting them to bits.

Bonfire is a little like a Blaster's version of Hurricane from the Storm set

Recommended # of Slots and Enhancement Priority

City of Heroes: empty enhancement( Default Slot Only )
There's not much you can do with this so you won't need many slots.
80%
 
Damage (80% Minimum)
Default: 127.9 points
With max 100% enhancement: 255.8 points
It's an AoE attack that will hit enemies for about the strength of Flares for each hit. It's actually not that bad so it's worth adding to it a bit.
80%
 
Recharge (80% Minimum)
Default: 120 sec
With max 100% enhancement: 60 sec
Besides damage, recharge is the best way to enhance this.
0%
 
Endurance Reduction (0% Minimum)
Default: 16 end
With max 100% enhancement: 8 end
It's a bit spendy, but you won't use it enough to worry too much about this.
0%
 
Range (0% Minimum)
Default: 70 Feet
With max 60% enhancement: 112 Feet
You don't need to set this very far away in most cases, particularly if you're going to go stand on it.

Help

The enhanceable properties of this power are listed in order of importance. Hover the mouse over each for detailed information and a description.

Char

Choke and burn!
Choke and burn!
Score3 of 5
Unslotted Strength5.7 x Brawl

Summary

A simple single-target hold, but that can save your butt! However, because you can't stack this no matter how much you buff recharge and hold, I subtract a few points.

How to Use

The goal here is to handle enemies that are a giant pain to you before they can be a pain. sappers for example or enemies that hit particularly hard. Lock them down and deal them death without hesitation.

If fighting a GM or AV with a team, spam this because others probably are two. In combination, most big enemies will get held for at least part of the time making the fight a lot easier.

Recommended # of Slots and Enhancement Priority

City of Heroes: empty enhancementCity of Heroes: empty enhancementCity of Heroes: empty enhancementCity of Heroes: empty enhancementCity of Heroes: empty enhancement( 5 Slots )
You could probably get away with only 4, but the recharge is pathetic and needs adjusting.
40%
 
Accuracy (40% Minimum)
Default: 90%
With max 100% enhancement: 180%
Fortunately, you already start high for accuracy, but bump it up a little more just to be sure. You don't want a control power to miss.
80%
 
Recharge (80% Minimum)
Default: 16 sec
With max 100% enhancement: 8 sec
Bring it back as fast as you can for control reasons. You won't be able to stack it on a single target, but you can at least spread the control around a bit.
50%
 
Damage (50% Minimum)
Default: 137.6 points
With max 100% enhancement: 275.2 points
Among other things, this is a pretty decent attack. Once you've handled recharge, why not make it hit harder?
30%
 
Hold (30% Minimum)
Default: 2.4 sec
With max 100% enhancement: 4.8 sec
Even if you slot this to the max, you'll never hold anyone for long. Fortunately as a Blaster, you don't need very long to take them down anyway.
30%
 
Endurance Reduction (30% Minimum)
Default: 10.7 end
With max 100% enhancement: 5.35 end
Lowering endurance is good. Do it as much as you can afford after everything else.
0%
 
Range (0% Minimum)
Default: 80 Feet
With max 60% enhancement: 128 Feet
It's already the same range as all your other primary attacks so no need to make it further.

Help

The enhanceable properties of this power are listed in order of importance. Hover the mouse over each for detailed information and a description.

Fire Shield

Protection at last.
Protection at last.
Score5 of 5

Summary

After spending levels and levels dying, it's nice to have some protection for a change. This power gives about 20% damage resistance from Fire, Smashing, Lethal, and Cold. If it helps, think of it as reducing most attacks by 1/5th.

How to Use

Turn it on. Keep it on. Enjoy.

Recommended # of Slots and Enhancement Priority

City of Heroes: empty enhancementCity of Heroes: empty enhancementCity of Heroes: empty enhancementCity of Heroes: empty enhancement( 4 Slots )
The goal is to leave it on all the time and have the highest resist possible. 4 slots is enough to do that.
50%
 
Damage Resist (50% Minimum)
Default: 19.3%
With max 60% enhancement: 30.88%
Take it as high as you can.
80%
 
Endurance Reduction (80% Minimum)
Default: .33 end per second
With max 100% enhancement: 0.165 end per second
Toggles are a constant drain and adds up.
0%
 
Recharge (0% Minimum)
Default: 4 sec
With max 100% enhancement: 2 sec
Comes back fast already. Don't worry about it.

Help

The enhanceable properties of this power are listed in order of importance. Hover the mouse over each for detailed information and a description.

Melt Armor

Weaken them before the barbeque.
Weaken them before the barbeque.
Score3 of 5

Summary

Target an enemy, hit him and all near him (just like Fireball). Lowers defense of all affected targets by 7% and damage resistance by 9.75%.

How to Use

This isn't complicated. Use it on enemy groups before you start the rest of your combo. However, if you don't have a Tank nearby to take the aggro for you, this could be a dangerous thing to do.

By dropping Bonfire or Burn on a doorway, you can launch Melt Armor and run around the corner picking off anyone that makes it through. You can also save it for when you're fighting tough bosses or particularly well defended targets (like force field drones).

Recommended # of Slots and Enhancement Priority

City of Heroes: empty enhancementCity of Heroes: empty enhancementCity of Heroes: empty enhancementCity of Heroes: empty enhancementCity of Heroes: empty enhancement( 5 Slots )
If you take this, you'll need some slots to make it really work.
60%
 
Accuracy (60% Minimum)
Default: 75%
With max 100% enhancement: 150%
If the debuff is going to work, this has to hit.
80%
 
Recharge (80% Minimum)
Default: 200 sec
With max 100% enhancement: 100 sec
It's useful, but slow to recharge. Try to buff this to the max and you'll see it every 2 minutes or so.
70%
 
Defense Debuff (70% Minimum)
Default: 7-1
With max 60% enhancement: 4.9-1
Small reductions in defense can have a big effect. Increase this to the max for a total defense reduction of 10% per target hit.
30%
 
Endurance Reduction (30% Minimum)
Default: 22.8 end
With max 100% enhancement: 11.4 end
It's pretty spendy.
0%
 
Range (0% Minimum)
Default: 70 Feet
With max 60% enhancement: 112 Feet
It's range is good as-is.

Help

The enhanceable properties of this power are listed in order of importance. Hover the mouse over each for detailed information and a description.

Rise of the Phoenix

I'm baaaack!
I'm baaaack!
Score4 of 5
Unslotted Strength13.9 x Brawl (per target)

Summary

Revives you and deals damage, stun, and knockback to any nearby foes.

How to Use

Using Self Destruct and Rise of the Phoenix for giggles :) (Video: 4.6Mb)
Using Self Destruct and Rise of the Phoenix for giggles 🙂 (Video: 4.6Mb)

Of course you can just revive yourself from death when you die. That's the simple way. But what about making it part of your combo? If you have the cyborg booster pack, run to a group and self destruct. You'll die, but gain no debt. Use Rise of the Phoenix to come back and beat everything down. If they're close enough when you use it, you can use your nova right away followed by consume. Think about it! You could have some fun with this power 🙂

And remember that while the stun effect of this power doesn't last very long, you are protected from debt for the next several seconds. I would have rated it 5 of 5 for the revenge factor, but you do have to die to use it.

Rise of the Phoenix does as much damage as a Nova power! Don't underestimate it as a regular part of your strategy!

Recommended # of Slots and Enhancement Priority

City of Heroes: empty enhancementCity of Heroes: empty enhancementCity of Heroes: empty enhancement( 3 Slots )
3 is enough though more is better.
60%
 
Recharge (60% Minimum)
Default: 300 sec
With max 100% enhancement: 150 sec
It's useful because you can use it when needed (if you bring it back soon enough).
60%
 
Damage (60% Minimum)
Default: 333 points
With max 100% enhancement: 666 points
Punish the dudes that put you down. Hit them as hard as you can!
20%
 
Heal (20% Minimum)
Default: 50%
With max 100% enhancement: 100%
If you have the room, slot some heal so you get back more of your life when rezzing.
0%
 
Stun (0% Minimum)
Default: 2 sec
With max 100% enhancement: 4 sec
Mid's hero planner says the stun value is only 2 seconds long, but in testing it was much longer. Buff it if you want, but I didn't find a need for it.
0%
 
Endurance Modification (0% Minimum)
Default: 50%
With max 100% enhancement: 100%
You get half your endurance back which is enough if you launch consumer immediately after.

Help

The enhanceable properties of this power are listed in order of importance. Hover the mouse over each for detailed information and a description.

March 14, 2010

Gale’s Level 50 Build Sample

Filed under: Defenders,Guides,Screaming Gale,Uncategorized — Jeremy

Updated: I16

01: GaleCity of Heroes: accuracy enhancement47%City of Heroes: damage enhancement47%City of Heroes: end_reduce enhancement21%
01: ShriekCity of Heroes: accuracy enhancement45%City of Heroes: damage enhancement94%City of Heroes: end_reduce enhancement45%City of Heroes: recharge enhancement45%
02: O2 BoostCity of Heroes: heal enhancement62%City of Heroes: end_reduce enhancement24%City of Heroes: recharge enhancement17%
04: HowlCity of Heroes: accuracy enhancement48%City of Heroes: damage enhancement95%City of Heroes: end_reduce enhancement21%City of Heroes: range enhancement41%City of Heroes: recharge enhancement26%
06: Steamy MistCity of Heroes: end_reduce enhancement90%City of Heroes: def_buff enhancement52%City of Heroes: resist enhancement47%City of Heroes: recharge enhancement42%
08: HastenCity of Heroes: recharge enhancement83%
10: Freezing RainCity of Heroes: recharge enhancement74%City of Heroes: def_debuff enhancement88%City of Heroes: end_reduce enhancement47%
12: Recall FriendCity of Heroes: recharge enhancement42%
14: Super SpeedCity of Heroes: run enhancement35%
16: Snow StormCity of Heroes: end_reduce enhancement83%City of Heroes: slow enhancement83%City of Heroes: recharge enhancement42%
18: HurdleCity of Heroes: jump enhancement42%
20: ShoutCity of Heroes: accuracy enhancement66%City of Heroes: damage enhancement90%City of Heroes: end_reduce enhancement45%City of Heroes: recharge enhancement40%
22: HealthCity of Heroes: heal enhancement83%
24: StaminaCity of Heroes: end_mod enhancement83%
26: TornadoCity of Heroes: recharge enhancement89%City of Heroes: damage enhancement70%City of Heroes: def_debuff enhancement70%City of Heroes: recharge enhancement70%
28: HurricaneCity of Heroes: end_reduce enhancement92%City of Heroes: acc_debuff enhancement54%City of Heroes: recharge enhancement42%
30: ShockwaveCity of Heroes: accuracy enhancement47%City of Heroes: damage enhancement88%City of Heroes: end_reduce enhancement37%City of Heroes: recharge enhancement26%
32: Lightning StormCity of Heroes: recharge enhancement86%City of Heroes: damage enhancement90%City of Heroes: end_reduce enhancement45%City of Heroes: accuracy enhancement40%City of Heroes: end_mod enhancement22%
35: Siren's SongCity of Heroes: recharge enhancement48%City of Heroes: sleep enhancement48%City of Heroes: end_reduce enhancement27%City of Heroes: range enhancement16%City of Heroes: range enhancement13%
38: Dreadful WailCity of Heroes: recharge enhancement95%City of Heroes: damage enhancement95%City of Heroes: accuracy enhancement21%
41: Thunder StrikeCity of Heroes: damage enhancement90%City of Heroes: recharge enhancement71%City of Heroes: end_reduce enhancement40%
44: Charged ArmorCity of Heroes: end_reduce enhancement69%City of Heroes: resist enhancement41%
47: Shocking BoltCity of Heroes: accuracy enhancement89%City of Heroes: recharge enhancement89%City of Heroes: end_mod enhancement47%City of Heroes: hold enhancement45%City of Heroes: end_reduce enhancement19%
49: Power SinkCity of Heroes: recharge enhancement83%City of Heroes: end_mod enhancement42%

At this point (if you slotted well), play goes very fast. You can toss out tornados, lightning storms, and beat people down with fists of lightning. You're a great debuffer and fantastic at moving things around. Playing something this chaotic is pretty darned cool.

Now that you've made it to 50, remember to use your Nova power as often as you like. I tended to hold it when I was married to that idea of taking Whirlwind as my level 50 power, but it seems so unnecessary when you already have hurricane and other powers that push people around.

Instead, I took an endurance recovery power which makes it possible to use my nova without worries (since I can get all my endurance back as long as I have a blue inspiration on me before I use it).

If you do what I did and put a "Chance of self heal" into Siren's Song and even if you didn't, use it as much as possible during battle. It's not strong damage, but decent and most importantly, it will keep some enemies from being able to fight you while they sleep. This is especially true when soloing compared to teaming.

Most everything else that I can say about playing a noisy stormer has been said so I will give you this instead:

Gale's 50

WOO! IM FIFTEE! I CAN HAZ WINGS!?
WOO! IM FIFTEE! I CAN HAZ WINGS!?
Check out Gale's Ultra Build here.

Gale’s Electricity Mastery Guide

Electricity Mastery was the only set that really made sense for a Storm/Sonic based on the electric powers in the storm set. It also nicely synergizes with the powers I already have.

Electric Fence

Hold still
Hold still
Score1 of 5
Unslotted Strength3.3 x Brawl

Summary

This is the same single-target immobilize power that blasters are forced to take in their secondary. It's low power and of little use.

How to Use

If you're desperate to keep something from running away, perhaps this will have some use for you. Also, you can immobilize them and let Tornado and Lightning storm rip them a new one (assuming you're not here just to read about the pool and not building a Storm/Sonic).


Recommended # of Slots and Enhancement Priority

City of Heroes: empty enhancement( Default Slot Only )
There's not much you can do with this so you won't need many slots.
40%
 
Accuracy (40% Minimum)
Default: 75%
With max 100% enhancement: 150%
Standard attack percentages. Make it accurate so it will hit.
0%
 
Range (0% Minimum)
Default: 50 Feet
With max 60% enhancement: 80 Feet
I think 50 is enough, but if you want to stop a runner, adding some distance might not be a bad idea.
0%
 
Damage (0% Minimum)
Default: 43.2 points
With max 100% enhancement: 86.4 points
So it's a decent attack. By the time you can get this, you'll have many much better attacks to use.
0%
 
Endurance Reduction (0% Minimum)
Default: 9.75 end
With max 100% enhancement: 4.875 end
If you were to spam this power, the end cost would get pretty bad, but I don't know anyone that would do this.
0%
 
Recharge (0% Minimum)
Default: 4 sec
With max 100% enhancement: 2 sec
It already comes back 5 times faster than its immob duration.
0%
 
Immobilize (0% Minimum)
Default: 22.4 sec
With max 100% enhancement: 44.8 sec
This lasts a really long time. No enhancement necessary.
0%
 
Endurance Modification (0% Minimum)
Default: 2.5%
With max 100% enhancement: 5%
Drains an itty bitty little bit of endurance from the enemy and lowers their recovery rate for a while. If you already have a theme of controlling the enemy via their endurance, this would be helpful.

Help

The enhanceable properties of this power are listed in order of importance. Hover the mouse over each for detailed information and a description.

Thunder Strike

Blammo!
Blammo!
Score6 of 5
Unslotted Strength8.27 x Brawl

Summary

With a long activation delay, you jump into the air and drop down with a strong electrical melee blast. It hits your target, but also any other enemies that are close. Like most electrical powers, this also lowers the affected enemy's endurance recovery rate.

How to Use

First, this is the strongest attack you're going to get as a Defender and second, it's not single target! Besides being an attack, you can also use this to stack stun on enemies (if you have stun in your primary or secondary like I do).


Recommended # of Slots and Enhancement Priority

City of Heroes: empty enhancementCity of Heroes: empty enhancementCity of Heroes: empty enhancementCity of Heroes: empty enhancementCity of Heroes: empty enhancementCity of Heroes: empty enhancement( 6 Slots )
This power has a lot going for it. Give it 6 slots minimum
40%
 
Accuracy (40% Minimum)
Default: 75%
With max 100% enhancement: 150%
Standard attack percentages. Make it accurate so it will hit.
80%
 
Damage (80% Minimum)
Default: 91.1 points
With max 100% enhancement: 182.2 points
So it's a decent attack. By the time you can get this, you'll have many much better attacks to use.
50%
 
Recharge (50% Minimum)
Default: 40 sec
With max 100% enhancement: 20 sec
Bring it back as fast as you can for control and high damage.
50%
 
Stun (50% Minimum)
Default: 7.45 sec
With max 100% enhancement: 14.9 sec
Stun is a great secondary power particularly when dealing with tough enemies.
30%
 
Endurance Reduction (30% Minimum)
Default: 23.1 end
With max 100% enhancement: 11.55 end
Lowering endurance is good. Do it as much as you can afford after everything else.
0%
 
Knockback (0% Minimum)
Default: 6 Feet
With max 180% enhancement: 16.8 Feet
I've never thought I wanted more knockback on this. I kinda don't want the KB I have...

Help

The enhanceable properties of this power are listed in order of importance. Hover the mouse over each for detailed information and a description.

Charged Armor

Protection at last.
Protection at last.
Score5 of 5

Summary

What's there to say? It's the damage reduction armor every Defender gets access to in the Epic pools. Smashing and Lethal resistance like normal with a side of energy resistance.

How to Use

Turn it on. Keep it on. Enjoy.


Recommended # of Slots and Enhancement Priority

City of Heroes: empty enhancementCity of Heroes: empty enhancementCity of Heroes: empty enhancementCity of Heroes: empty enhancement( 4 Slots )
You can fully slot this with 3 or 4 slots. I went with 4.
50%
 
Damage Resist (50% Minimum)
Default: 27.5%
With max 60% enhancement: 44%
Take it as high as you can.
80%
 
Endurance Reduction (80% Minimum)
Default: .33 end per second
With max 100% enhancement: 0.165 end per second
Toggles are a constant drain and add up.
0%
 
Recharge (0% Minimum)
Default: 2 sec
With max 100% enhancement: 1 sec
Comes back fast already. Don't worry about it.

Help

The enhanceable properties of this power are listed in order of importance. Hover the mouse over each for detailed information and a description.

Shocking Bolt

Same as the Clockwork power we all hate.
Same as the Clockwork power we all hate.
Score4 of 5
Unslotted Strength2 x Brawl

Summary

At good distance, you shock the enemy with electricity and hold them in an electrical field (exactly the same as the power that the Clockwork knights are always using at low levels).

How to Use

It's not hugely powerful as an attack so don't take it for that reason. The main reason you want it is for what it was intended: a hold. If you already have some good stuns, sleep, or holds in your other sets, maybe this is superfluous, but I like the ability to stack holds or handle more enemies.

If you DON'T already have control powers, you really, really need this. Shocking Bolt will let you take problem enemies (like sappers) out of the battle for a bit. When fighting Archvillains and monsters, let your other team members focus on attacks while you help the controllers and other defenders spam holds.


Recommended # of Slots and Enhancement Priority

City of Heroes: empty enhancementCity of Heroes: empty enhancementCity of Heroes: empty enhancementCity of Heroes: empty enhancementCity of Heroes: empty enhancement( 5 Slots )
You'll only need 5 to buff most aspects of this power. If you want more damage, give it 6.
60%
 
Accuracy (60% Minimum)
Default: 75%
With max 100% enhancement: 150%
If you fire this, it's because you need something to stop moving. Make sure you hit it.
60%
 
Recharge (60% Minimum)
Default: 16 sec
With max 100% enhancement: 8 sec
Bring it back as fast as you can for control and high damage.
40%
 
Hold (40% Minimum)
Default: 17.9 sec
With max 100% enhancement: 35.8 sec
Lengthen the duration of the hold effect to help support stacking with multiple applications.
10%
 
Endurance Modification (10% Minimum)
Default: 5.33%
With max 100% enhancement: 10.66%
Use of this power can actually restore endurance to you. Slot this up some if you can.
10%
 
Endurance Reduction (10% Minimum)
Default: 10.7 end
With max 100% enhancement: 5.35 end
This isn't a huge priority, but you should easily be able to drop the endurance a little with everything else.
0%
 
Damage (0% Minimum)
Default: 21.6 points
With max 100% enhancement: 43.2 points
It's ok for an attack, but I think other attributes take priority.
0%
 
Range (0% Minimum)
Default: 80 Feet
With max 60% enhancement: 128 Feet
It's plenty long. Leave it alone.

Help

The enhanceable properties of this power are listed in order of importance. Hover the mouse over each for detailed information and a description.

Power Sink

Slurp!
Slurp!
Score3 of 5

Summary

Drains endurance from nearby enemies and recovers some of your own endurance.

How to Use

As someone who uses a LOT of endurance, it doesn't hurt to be able to have some more. However, I did such a good job of controlling my endurance use, I didn't really need this power and thought about not taking it.

However, if you have a Nova power, it drains all your endurance. The best combo is Nova + Blue inspiration + End recover power. This is the last in the chain. With it, you can fire your Nova whenever you want in the middle of any battle since you can just get your endurance back in a second.

Remember you have to be in melee range to use this (which you will be if you just used your Nova so that works out just fine).


Recommended # of Slots and Enhancement Priority

City of Heroes: empty enhancementCity of Heroes: empty enhancementCity of Heroes: empty enhancement( 3 Slots )
3 is good, 4 is better, more is kind of a waste.
80%
 
Recharge (80% Minimum)
Default: 120 sec
With max 100% enhancement: 60 sec
The ONLY disadvantage to this power is the long recharge so fix that first.
40%
 
Endurance Modification (40% Minimum)
Default: 25%
With max 100% enhancement: 50%
You regain 25 percent of your end (unenhanced) PER target hit. It's still good to bump this up in case you only have one or two enemies around to suck from AND because the end mod attribute also increase the amount the enemy is drained (41% unenhanced, 80% fully slotted).
0%
 
Endurance Reduction (0% Minimum)
Default: 16.3 end
With max 100% enhancement: 8.15 end
You'll gain plenty of endurance from using this so this is not necessary.

Help

The enhanceable properties of this power are listed in order of importance. Hover the mouse over each for detailed information and a description.

January 31, 2010

Gale’s Level 32 Build Sample

Filed under: Defenders,Guides,Screaming Gale — Jeremy

Updated: I16

01: GaleCity of Heroes: accuracy enhancement35%
01: ShriekCity of Heroes: accuracy enhancement40%City of Heroes: damage enhancement80%City of Heroes: end_reduce enhancement40%City of Heroes: recharge enhancement22%
02: O2 BoostCity of Heroes: heal enhancement40%City of Heroes: end_reduce enhancement40%City of Heroes: recharge enhancement17%
04: HowlCity of Heroes: accuracy enhancement40%City of Heroes: damage enhancement80%City of Heroes: end_reduce enhancement35%City of Heroes: range enhancement24%
06: HastenCity of Heroes: recharge enhancement69%
08: SwiftCity of Heroes: run enhancement34%
10: ShockwaveCity of Heroes: accuracy enhancement22%City of Heroes: damage enhancement87%City of Heroes: end_reduce enhancement22%City of Heroes: range enhancement13%City of Heroes: recharge enhancement22%
12: Steamy MistCity of Heroes: end_reduce enhancement62%City of Heroes: def_buff enhancement34%City of Heroes: resist enhancement45%City of Heroes: recharge enhancement17%
14: Super SpeedCity of Heroes: run enhancement35%
16: Recall FriendCity of Heroes: recharge enhancement35%
18: Freezing RainCity of Heroes: recharge enhancement93%City of Heroes: def_debuff enhancement40%City of Heroes: end_reduce enhancement40%
20: HealthCity of Heroes: heal enhancement69%
22: Snow StormCity of Heroes: end_reduce enhancement85%City of Heroes: slow enhancement52%City of Heroes: recharge enhancement52%
24: StaminaCity of Heroes: end_mod enhancement69%
26: TornadoCity of Heroes: recharge enhancement89%City of Heroes: damage enhancement34%City of Heroes: def_debuff enhancement22%
26: HurricaneCity of Heroes: end_reduce enhancement74%City of Heroes: acc_debuff enhancement24%City of Heroes: recharge enhancement17%
28: Siren's SongCity of Heroes: accuracy enhancement40%City of Heroes: recharge enhancement40%City of Heroes: sleep enhancement40%City of Heroes: range enhancement13%
32: Lightning StormCity of Heroes: recharge enhancement35%

Combos

When enemy groups are near a wall or corner, try this:

  1. Turn on hurricane.
  2. Before they see you, use Shockwave and Gale to knock everything back to the wall/corner.
  3. Use hurricane to push any remainders back and to pin the rest down.
  4. Use Freezing Rain. The enemies that have just gotten up will be further slowed and many will fall down.
  5. Start attacking. Use Shockwave, Howl, and Siren's Song to AoE them to death. Switch to single-target attacks once enough are gone.
  6. If high enough level, use Lightning Storm to add to your damage and keep them pinned (Tornado will NOT help here because it will toss people out of your controlling area.

In wide open areas:

  1. Target the toughest enemy or the one most centrally located. Use Freezing Rain. Many will fall down, but have a heal inspiration ready just in case.
  2. Use Snow Storm on the enemy you already targeted. This keeps them from running out of the storm.
  3. Use Hurricane and run around the room trying to push any that weren't in the rain into the rain and prevent escape. If you have a good handle on the range of Gale and Shockwave, you can use these powers to knock runners back into the crowd.
  4. Start attacking. Reapply Freezing Rain as needed.

Play Tips

Whenever facing a group that's extremely tough or too numerous, look for a door or corner. Stand just to the side so that as soon as they come through, they'll be debuffed by your hurricane before they can fire on you. Lightning storm and Tornado will keep them on their butts while dealing strong damage. If one gets too close or is blown where you don't want them, use Shockwave and Gale to deal with them.

Another note on Tornado, when fighting strong enemies like bosses or AVs, Tornado won't wander and will piledrive the bad guy constantly dealing damage while debuffing defense. Many people see Tornado and how chaotic it is and skip it, but that's a huge mistake.

While on teams, you won't want to use it because it will mess up people's nicely packed groups (and thus AoE damage), but when solo or when there aren't other little enemies around, fire away. Also note that for some types of missions, if all your tanks, scrappers etc. are focused on the AV and ignoring the minions, you can use Tornado and other powers to keep the squishies (yourself included) from being beaten too much.

While it may be tempting to not hit enemy groups with Snow Storm because of the endurance drain, remember that it's not just a slow power, but one that lowers enemy recharge rate too!

November 6, 2009

Jordan’s Level 50 Build

Filed under: City of Heroes,Defenders,Guides — Jeremy

Updated: I16

01: Dark BlastCity of Heroes: accuracy enhancement40%City of Heroes: damage enhancement66%City of Heroes: end_reduce enhancement45%City of Heroes: recharge enhancement40%
01: Twilight GraspCity of Heroes: accuracy enhancement80%City of Heroes: heal enhancement88%City of Heroes: recharge enhancement85%City of Heroes: end_reduce enhancement60%
02: GloomCity of Heroes: accuracy enhancement45%City of Heroes: damage enhancement94%City of Heroes: end_reduce enhancement45%City of Heroes: recharge enhancement45%
04: Tar PatchCity of Heroes: recharge enhancement95%City of Heroes: slow enhancement60%City of Heroes: end_reduce enhancement60%
06: Air SuperiorityCity of Heroes: accuracy enhancement48%City of Heroes: damage enhancement48%City of Heroes: recharge enhancement21%
08: Shadow FallCity of Heroes: end_reduce enhancement95%City of Heroes: resist enhancement41%City of Heroes: def_buff enhancement52%City of Heroes: recharge enhancement48%
10: Recall FriendCity of Heroes: recharge enhancement42%
12: Darkest NightCity of Heroes: end_reduce enhancement69%City of Heroes: acc_debuff enhancement41%
14: FlyCity of Heroes: end_reduce enhancement53%City of Heroes: fly enhancement92%
16: Howling TwilightCity of Heroes: recharge enhancement95%City of Heroes: slow enhancement60%City of Heroes: end_reduce enhancement60%
18: SwiftCity of Heroes: fly enhancement42%
20: HealthCity of Heroes: heal enhancement83%
22: MoonbeamCity of Heroes: accuracy enhancement74%City of Heroes: damage enhancement92%City of Heroes: recharge enhancement42%City of Heroes: interrupt enhancement50%City of Heroes: range enhancement44%City of Heroes: end_reduce enhancement21%
24: StaminaCity of Heroes: end_mod enhancement83%
26: Petrifying GazeCity of Heroes: accuracy enhancement62%City of Heroes: recharge enhancement40%City of Heroes: end_reduce enhancement22%City of Heroes: fear enhancement18%
28: Fearsome StareCity of Heroes: accuracy enhancement48%City of Heroes: recharge enhancement48%City of Heroes: end_reduce enhancement27%City of Heroes: fear enhancement74%
30: Tenebrous TentaclesCity of Heroes: accuracy enhancement42%City of Heroes: damage enhancement78%City of Heroes: range enhancement47%City of Heroes: end_reduce enhancement21%City of Heroes: recharge enhancement48%City of Heroes: acc_debuff enhancement29%
32: Dark ServantCity of Heroes: accuracy enhancement66%City of Heroes: recharge enhancement61%City of Heroes: heal enhancement42%City of Heroes: hold enhancement45%City of Heroes: acc_debuff enhancement38%City of Heroes: end_reduce enhancement61%
35: Night FallCity of Heroes: accuracy enhancement48%City of Heroes: damage enhancement95%City of Heroes: recharge enhancement53%City of Heroes: end_reduce enhancement21%
38: BlackstarCity of Heroes: accuracy enhancement27%City of Heroes: damage enhancement79%City of Heroes: recharge enhancement79%City of Heroes: end_reduce enhancement27%
41: Dark ConsumptionCity of Heroes: accuracy enhancement42%City of Heroes: recharge enhancement83%City of Heroes: damage enhancement66.75%City of Heroes: end_mod enhancement42%
44: Dark EmbraceCity of Heroes: resist enhancement50%City of Heroes: end_reduce enhancement22%
47: Soul DrainCity of Heroes: accuracy enhancement42%City of Heroes: recharge enhancement69%City of Heroes: acc_buff enhancement16%
49: Dark PitCity of Heroes: accuracy enhancement48%City of Heroes: recharge enhancement48%City of Heroes: stun enhancement21%

All my builds are designed for max utility at the lowest levels. Generally, single target stuff low level, team support stuff, and most of all, your travel power and sneak/tp combo.

At the later levels, some group control and damage powers start to creep in. Depending on if you PvP or not, you might want to rearrange some of the powers in the 24 to 30 range (since the Bloody Bay level cap is 25).

But there's no question of what power to get at level 32. With 3 slots per level starting at level 33 and two slot levels per power level now (meaning you now have two levels of enhancement slots per one level of new powers), you will easily have Dark Servant fully slotted by level 34.

At this level, pay close attention to IO set bonuses. Based on the sets I chose and the arrangement of each, I managed to reach 25% damage bonus, 27% accuracy, 11% +hitpoints, and 68% Regeneration rate!

Play Tips

  • A well known, but worth mentioning anyway, combo is the Soul Drain, Blackstar, Blue inspiration, Dark Consumption. With this you buff your attack tremendously, blast the hell out of everything, then gain enough endurance to drain whatever's left standing to put you back to near full endurance so you can keep fighting.
  • The previously mentioned combo with Tar Patch as a trap and Darkest Night as a pulling move allows you to tank for the team. Once they hit the Tar Patch, run into range and fire Tenebrous Tentacles to keep them in place and proceed to use Howling Twilight, Dark Pit, and Fearsome Stare to keep them completely defenseless while your team destroys them. If you don't have a team, that's ok, because with tentacles and Night Fall, you can do a fair bit of damage yourself anyway!
Next Page »

GM

Game Moderators. It's a carry-over term from Dungeons and Dragons that refers to the people who run the game. In this case, employees of Cryptic.

It can also mean Giant Monster such as the ones that occasionally wander around Paragon.

AV

Arch-Villain. The toughest enemies in the game (other than Giant Monsters) that usually take several Heroes at a time to defeat.

Nova

Nova is a high level attack power for energy blasters that does a massive amount of damage and knockback in an AoE around the caster. Eventually, all similar powers came to be referred to as Novas.

Nova

Nova is a high level attack power for energy blasters that does a massive amount of damage and knockback in an AoE around the caster. Eventually, all similar powers came to be referred to as Novas.

AV

Arch-Villain. The toughest enemies in the game (other than Giant Monsters) that usually take several Heroes at a time to defeat.